tv [untitled] January 28, 2017 2:23pm-2:31pm EST
is booktv on c-span2. television for serious readers. this is our prime timeline appeared tonight starting at 630 eastern, the life of the first female us district attorney. at 730 veronica chambers and other writer discussed the legacy of former first lady michelle obama. then at 8:30 p.m. eastern a look at why the holocaust happened. on booktv's afterwords program at 10:00 p.m. eastern they explore the philosophy behind frugal living. and we wrap up our saturday prime time at 11 o'clock with michael eric dyson and his sermon white america. it all happens tonight on c-span2's booktv.
the elite framers people at madison and washington were little gas is so much democracy has led to these laws and paper money laws in the mid-1780s and they wanted to move in a direction of a government that would be more constrained, more independent of popular opinion and actually could shut down these popular forces in the states. the medicine for example wanted to give the federal government an absolute veto over any law passed by a state but that turned out to be too extreme for the convention. they did write a provision article 1 section 10 that states from adopting ãbars states from adopting certain laws. and the idea was a national government with very long terms in office, six-year senators, for your presidents, nothing for that. in the state constitution. indirect elections, legislatures pick 7 news,
electoral college picks the president. enormous constituencies. the original house was 65 members. the entire country. the lower house of the massachusetts legislature had over 350 delegates.the u.s. congress had 65. they thought the larger the constituency of the more likely he would elect the better, well educated relatively affluent people of the community. without the larger the constituency -- so in a sense they were antidemocratic wanted to move from a more democratic state constitution in the direction of more elite rule because they thought he really could not trust the average person in government. they thought they would redistribute property. they thought that would have been happening. that's why hamilton at the convention favored a lifetime tenure senate and a lifetime tenure president. i mean he is a monarchist basically.
that was extreme at the convention but it wasn't that extreme. four delegations at one point actually voted for a lifetime tenure president because they thought property rights would be adequately protected and more republicans ? >> interesting. and just one quick thing. we are obviously, as is often the case during presidential election years, people often have questions about how we got the electoral college. and ? [laughter] where that came from and what was the rationale for it? >> for most of the convention he thought that the congress would pick the president. as we most state constitutions were because the legislature picked the governor. for most of the convention they had agreed the president would be selected by congress for a single term of seven years. the problem with a single term is they thought it would deprive the president of the best incentive for good behavior which is the ability to be reelected. the problem with giving the president the ability to be
reelected if he was paid by congress, is that he then would be very dependent on congress for his reelection but the whole point of having an independent president was to check congress. they're going to give the president a veto of the president was dependent on congress for reelection, the president would be leery of that exercising the veto. so another possibility will be direct election by the people. but there were three problems with that.first of all they didn't trust the people with that important task. one of my favorite quotes from the convention is george mason and an important delegate from virginia saying that asking the people to change the chief magistrate would be of referring the choice of color survived man. they didn't trust the people. so that is one problem with direct election. the second problem is 40 percent of the south population were slaves, they thought the slaves ought to count in terms of increasing the south's political power and nation.
and finally the thought of your direct election small states would never have a president. this is poor communication, poor transportation and they weren't assuming the existence of political parties that figured people in large states would vote for their candidate became for massachusetts, he drove for john hancock. if you came from pennsylvania with quote for james wilson. the small states would never have a president. so the electoral college system actually enable them to compromise lots of different cities. one thing you will not have the president take by the people you have state legislatures deciding how electors are chosen and then they assume the elect was with exercise independent judgment. then they portion electoral college in such a way that the south gets greater clout than they would in a direct election. in the small states have a greater opportunity to elect somebody. so the electoral college as you know, the number of house members plus your number
senators. now virginia is by far the largest state. he has 12 times the population of delaware. in the house there are 10 virginia representatives, one for delaware. but in the electoral college to adhere senators to your house numbers which means there are 12 electors from virginia and three from delaware. that is a porch one advantage rather than attend to one advantage. so the small things like that, slave states like that because the house numbers include the number of slaves and their other complications there. the only way to defend the electoral college today, it no longer walks away because we have a popular election. but in terms of that basically what the electoral college does is gives voters in wyoming 10 times the power of -- california actually has 70 times the population of wyoming. unless you can provide a good account for why wyoming voters are somehow in discriminative against minorities, they
deserve and has power in the electoral college system there is a defense ãit gives people inflated challenges. but the senate is subject to this. -- that is just a power-play by the small states in the philadelphia convention. tried to justify it with the philosophical reasons of why the small states or be overwhelmed by the large states. a basically a power-play in the small states that we are going to walk out if you don't give us the quality and the senate. i'm sorry that was long-winded. [laughter] [applause] >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> good evening welcome to mrs. dalloway's. now would be a good time for you to silence your phones.